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About Sri Lanka

A tropical island paradise, Sri Lanka has been labelled ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. It’s famous for 1,600 km of unspoilt golden beaches, friendly local people and delicious food. It’s a stunning island filled with ancient cities, mountains and more than it’s fair share of wildlife sanctuaries where you can see wild elephants and leopards.

It makes a fantastic location to volunteer in a school for D/deaf children where your time and effort is warmly received. We partner with several Deaf schools near some of Sri Lanka’s most vibrant towns. Deaf volunteering in Sri Lanka is rewarding and fun for you and the local students. 

You’ll never be bored during your time off as we help you discover ancient Buddhist culture, temples and ruined cities, see wonderful wildlife, work with sea turtles and sample delicious spicy dishes on an unforgettable trip to stunning Sri Lanka!

Next trip:

  • Sunday 20th December 2020 to Saturday 2nd January 2021 (subject to international travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic)

Contact us now for information or go ahead and book your place.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

2 week Group Trip

 Trip Highlights

  • Volunteer on a tropical island paradise!
  • Work with sea turtles 
  • Learn Sri Lankan sign language
  • Support a Sri Lankan Deaf school
  • Visit an elephant orphanage 
  • Relax on unspoilt sandy beaches
  • Explore Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
  • Try your hand at cooking local food
  • Watch traditional Kandyian dancing 
  • Visit ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples 

Daily work & activities

  • You will work at one of our partner Deaf schools not far from the capital city of Colombo.
  • Mornings (around half your time) will be spent doing practical hands-on renovation work, for example painting murals, refurbishing classrooms or dormitories, renovating a playground.
  • Afternoons are spent doing cultural and social activities such as fun educational games with local D/deaf students, learning to cook tasty curries and doing a Sri Lankan sign language class, visiting local markets, beaches and ancient Buddhist & Hindu temples.
  • Evenings are normally free to relax. Play cards, chat to the local Sri Lankan family who run our accommodation (our interpreter can help), update your social media (there’s normally wifi!), watch monkeys in the coconut trees…up to you!

What’s Included

Accommodation

Either in a private rented house or local hotel with the rest of our group, VoluntEars staff and our Communicator.

There is plenty of space to relax during your time off, the neighborhood is quiet and safe and there is normally wifi.

Food

3 meals a day.

Food is either served at our accommodation or in local restaurants. 

We make sure you get to try a variety of tasty local dishes. We know all the places you will eat so we know the food is safe and good quality. 

Tell us if you have any dietary requirements. 

BSL Communicator on every trip

Trip leader from our UK office

Airport transfers on arrival and departure (in private air conditioned transport)

 

All local transport; not flights

We have a private air-conditioned mini-bus for the whole trip. 

Our friendly VoluntEars staff will be waiting to collect you on arrival and they’ll accompany you on all journeys in Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lankan sign language class

Learn some Sri Lankan sign language from a local Sri Lankan teacher. 

It’s fun and it helps communication with the local deaf students during your trip. 

Cooking class

Enjoy cooking? Learn how it’s done in Sri Lanka! 

Popular dishes include pineapple curry, dhal curry, roti, coconut sambol, beetroot curry. 

You will learn from a Sri Lankan expert in our cooking class. Just don’t touch your eyes after chopping chillies!

Markets, temples and beaches

Most afternoons we visit different places so you can discover the real Sri Lanka.

You will get to walk along beautiful sandy beaches, explore bustling markets where local people sell all kinds of tropical fruit like mangoes, coconuts and papaya.

We’ll take you to some of the oldest Buddhist and Hindu temples on the island so you can soak up Sri Lanka’s diverse culture. Learn all about it or find a quiet corner to sit down and soak up the atmosphere.

Negombo

One of Sri Lanka’s most important fishing harbours – you’ll see all the brightly painted fishing boats, browse the many tourist shops for leather bags, silver jewelry & local gem stones, or just choose a beach cafe and relax with a drink and a sunset view.

What a perfect end to the day!

Sea turtle conservation

Sea turtle conservation project – spend a day working with sea turtles on the beach. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that most people only dream of.

You’ll get hands-on with these amazing and endangered creatures and contribute to their survival. 

Stay overnight near the beach and hopefully see the sun set over the Indian ocean.

Weekend trips

The ancient city of Kandy is located in the “hill country” in the centre of Sri Lanka.

It’s surrounded by small mountains covered in tea plantations and forest. It’s slightly cooler than the coast and you’ll see some beautiful views of the hills. 

You’ll visit the Temple of the Tooth, walk around the famous lake (if you want to!) and visit a tea plantation.

Comprehensive orientation in Sri Lanka

Pre-trip meeting in Sussex, UK

Meet other volunteers and our staff before your trip.

If you can’t attend the meeting we will email all the information to you and can arrange a video call to explain everything in sign language and answer your questions.

Certificate of completion

References

VoluntEars - Deaf volunteering overseas - Sri Lanka

Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday

Arrive in Sri Lanka!

We will meet you at the airport and drive you to our accommodation. You can unpack, meet the other volunteers and relax. We will do the orientation this evening so you know what to expect over the next 2 weeks.

Day 2 - Monday

Our first day at school!

After breakfast we’ll drive to school and meet the Principal who will show us around so you see the differences between Deaf education at home and in Sri Lanka. We’ll discuss our renovation project. We normally refurbish a school classroom, dormitory or playground. We’ll show you exactly what to do and no previous experience is required.

After lunch we’ll visit a local market and discover all the tropical fruits and vegetables. Then you can relax at home!

Day 3 - Tuesday

Renovation work at the school in the morning.

This afternoon we’ll learn some local sign language in a Sri Lankan Sign Language class run by a local teacher. It’s a lot of fun!

Day 4 - Wednesday

Renovation work at the school in the morning.

This afternoon try your hand at cooking local Sri Lankan food in our cooking class! 

Day 5 - Thursday

This morning you will visit one of Colombo’s biggest Hindu temples, explore a park in the city centre and admire Colombo’s largest street art gallery.

Renovation work at the school in the afternoon.

Day 6 - Friday

Renovation work at the school in the morning.

Educational games and fun activities with the local Sri Lankan D/deaf students in the afternoon.

Day 7 - Saturday

Sea turtles! After breakfast we’ll drive down the coast and spend the day working with sea turtles at a local conservation project.

This evening you’ll be able to relax on the beach and watch the sunset over the Indian ocean. We’ll stay overnight in accommodation near the beach.

Day 8 - Sunday

Time to relax after a busy week!

After a late breakfast we will head to a hotel swimming pool near the beach where you can enjoy a day off. Read a book, listen to music, update social media, swim in the pool, walk down the beach…up to you!

Day 9 - Monday

Renovation work at the school in the morning.

We’ll show you a couple of interesting parts of Colombo and you’ll have chance to do some shopping before heading home for dinner. 

Day 10 - Tuesday

Renovation work at the school in the morning.

Visit Negombo which is one of Sri Lanka’s busiest fishing harbours and wander along the old Dutch canals.

Day 11 - Wednesday

Finish the renovation work at school and present it to the school Principal and students. We hope they like it!

Educational games and fun activities with the local Sri Lankan D/deaf students in the afternoon. Tell us your ideas and we’ll provide materials!

Day 12 - Thursday

Today you’re going to come face to face with huge elephants!

We will also drive up to Kandy which is higher up in the mountains and watch a traditional Kandyian dance performance. Tonight we’ll stay at a hotel in Kandy.

Day 13 - Friday

Explore the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. If you’re lucky you will get to see a tiny gold casket which is supposed to contain one of the Buddha’s teeth.

We’ll visit a tea factory – see where our tea comes from and how it’s made. Then we’ll travel back to our normal accommodation.

Day 14 - Saturday

Our last day together!

Time for one last breakfast all together before packing up and heading to the airport.

We’ll drive you back to the airport and make sure you start your journey home safely.

It’s been a busy 2 weeks and you won’t want to leave but you’ve got a long flight back to think about all the amazing things you did on a VoluntEars trip to Sri Lanka!

Dates & Prices

2020

  • Sunday 20th December to Saturday 2nd January (2021)

2021

  • Sunday 18th July to Saturday 31st July
  • Sunday 19th December to Saturday 1st January (2022)

Price: £1,295  /  USD $1,795

Need help raising money? Check out our Fundraising tips and ideas.

Don’t forget our Teaching Add-on

What is it?

VoluntEars Teaching Add-ons enable you to gain classroom-based teaching experience in a local Deaf school after completing a 2 Week Group Trip.

You will work alongside local English-speaking teachers in one of our partner Deaf schools, assisting in classes, helping with vocational training and getting involved with sports.

Other trips available in Sri Lanka
Family TripTailor Made Group Trip

Next Steps

Book Now

Complete our simple, secure online application form to secure your place today.

Got a Question?

Send us a message or launch our live chat now application in the bottom right corner.

Video Chat

Arrange a video chat with our BSL qualified staff or ex-volunteers.

Reviews

“It’s been great. The people who run VoluntEars trips are really nice and we’ve done so much I can’t even remember it all!”

“Join today because it’s brilliant! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Ashley Hill


"I had the opportunity to help fellow D/deaf people"

Tom Gerrard

“The best thing I’ve done in years”

Blanche Coy

“Valuable, memorable, fun, productive, amazing!” 

David Hutchinson

“A specialised organisation that guarantees the right support - all my worries vanished”

Karolina Pakenaite

“Working with turtles was the best thing!”

Omar Mahmood

“Enlightening, rewarding, motivating, amazing”

Keegan Hall-Browne

“I grew in confidence and enjoyed helping people”

Jodie Winter

"I really enjoyed designing and painting the wall mural in one of the classrooms. It was a fantastic experience."

Stephan Pretorius

"An enriching and fulfilling experience with an opportunity to embrace Sri Lanka's way of life and culture"

Katherine O’Grady

"It's changed my way of thinking and seeing things. Join today because it's brilliant! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity"

Ashley Hill

"There was an equal balance of work, group activities and sightseeing"

Clair Murray

“I knew this was a perfect opportunity”

Saira Shabbir

“I made new friends and was able to use my sign language skills”

Stephanie Denison

“I can’t fault VoluntEars - they run everything smoothly from beginning to end”

Kimberley Bruce

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